December 7, 2023


Moving Forward

Interview: “Investing in women entrepreneurs is not only a matter of gender equality but also a smart business decision”

Ecem Altıok, Expense Director at Yıldız Ventures, Gözde Tech Ventures and Yıldız Keeping. Picture: Courtesy of Yildiz Holding

Ecem Altıok is Investment decision Director at Yıldız Ventures, Gözde Tech Ventures, and Yıldız Holding, the place she oversees Venture Cash (VC) and Corporate Undertaking Cash (CVC) financial investment and portfolio management functions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Small business Administration from Koç University. At 36 decades outdated, Altiok brings together her passion for entrepreneurship and her working experience in the investment decision earth to empower girls and encourage their financial participation. She is a person of the Investors taking part in EXPO Capital Quest, the previous phase of the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO 2022, where by picked gals business owners from Europe and Central Asia will pitch their business enterprise concepts.

As a female, how is your encounter as the expense director of a massive non-public sector conglomerate?

Yıldız Holding is a popular private conglomerate, serving a large clientele spanning extra than 4 billion people today in 130 nations, with a workforce of around 75,000 personnel. For that reason, I really feel privileged to be entrusted with one particular of the crucial financial commitment choice-creating roles in the company. This practical experience has permitted me to break barriers and obstacle gender stereotypes. It has offered me with the possibility to contribute to the expansion and achievement of progressive companies and startups.

I have found that my special point of view as a young woman has typically introduced a refreshing and precious strategy to expense determination-making. Diversity in the expenditure business is crucial as it enables diverse viewpoints, activities, and insights, in the end main to much better expense outcomes.

As a expert trader, what do you seem for in a small business plan?

As a specialist investor, initial and foremost, I appraise the current market probable and scalability of the notion. A solid sector possibility with a huge addressable sector is important for extensive-phrase achievement. I also assess the uniqueness and competitiveness of the small business product or item, as properly as the strength of the group behind it. A gifted and expert workforce that can execute the enterprise program with a treasured vision is a very important component for financial commitment consideration.

On top of that, I target on the advancement approach and opportunity for enlargement. A very clear and very well-described progress strategy, alongside with a sustainable competitive benefit, is essential. Monetary projections and the possible for profitability are also evaluated to evaluate the viability and attractiveness of the organization possibility.

Yildiz Holding is partnering with UN Girls in a range of women’s empowerment initiatives. Can you inform us about this function?

Yildiz Keeping is firmly fully commited to empowering gals. We believe that in furnishing equal opportunities for gals to prosper and succeed in the corporate environment. To this conclude, the Keeping has actively inspired and facilitated the placement of women of all ages in senior administration, execution, and board membership positions. Gals holding crucial positions in our corporation add to the conclusion-building approach and shape the strategic path of the organization. Their expertise and insights are remarkably valued and enjoy a vital job in driving achievements.

In addition, Yıldız Keeping has actively collaborated with UN Women of all ages to help women’s entrepreneurship, developing a more inclusive ecosystem for gals to prosper. By combining the expertise and sources of UN Girls with Yıldız Holding’s considerable network, we intention to build equal alternatives and accessibility to methods for women of all ages business owners.

Via initiatives like the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator and incubation applications, we display Yıldız Holding’s determination to building inclusive marketplaces and benefit chains.

And it is promising to see that our endeavours are validated in the effects we have designed. At Yıldız Holding, we had committed ourselves to make investments more than $4 million in three a long time to support women of all ages entrepreneurship in regional and world supply chains, but we are proud to see that we have transcended our determination in its initially 12 months with 53 women-led begin-ups.

This collaboration showcases the non-public sector’s pivotal role in empowering women of all ages and driving positive adjust.

And we are content to be a north star in our industries main by instance and superior techniques.

Inform us about your working experience as 1 of the mentors of the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO.

My expertise as one of the mentors of the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO has been amazingly satisfying. It presented a distinctive system for gals business people to join, study, and develop their enterprises. I have experienced a likelihood to interact with seven females business owners from numerous sectors these kinds of as packaging remedies, textile, wellbeing & wellness, AR system.

Via these collaborative sessions, my purpose was to empower the mentees with the required understanding and instruments to effectively converse their organization tips, market place opportunity, and development techniques to potential traders. It was immensely satisfying to witness their progress and witness the transformation of their pitch decks, as they turned additional centered, persuasive, and trader-all set. Supporting these proficient girls entrepreneurs in their journey towards success has been an inspiring expertise, and I appear ahead to viewing the effect they will make in their respective industries.

What are the principal issues going through girls entrepreneurs?

Girls business owners experience a number of problems on their entrepreneurial journey. Access to finance is a significant hurdle as ladies frequently face issues in securing funding for their firms. Gender biases and stereotypes can undermine their reliability and hinder their enterprise progress, requiring them to work more challenging to gain equivalent recognition and possibilities.

Another challenge is the lack of networks and mentorship alternatives. Constructing a solid community and finding mentors who can present advice and help is essential for entrepreneurial achievements. Having said that, gals entrepreneurs may perhaps have limited accessibility to set up networks and mentorship packages when compared to their male counterparts, building it a lot more complicated for them to navigate the organization landscape.

Do the job-lifestyle harmony is an ongoing challenge for ladies business people. Balancing the needs of entrepreneurship with spouse and children duties and societal anticipations can be specifically demanding for gals. They normally encounter extra pressures to juggle various roles, which can effects their capability to concentration on increasing their businesses.

Why do you think it is important to devote in ladies entrepreneurs?

Investing in women entrepreneurs is not only a subject of gender equality but also a sensible organization decision. Women entrepreneurs provide unique perspectives, creative imagination, and problem-fixing abilities to the table. They generally establish current market gaps and buyer requirements that may perhaps have been missed, primary to impressive enterprise suggestions and options. It also has a multiplier outcome, as women are likely to commit back into their communities, developing work possibilities and driving social affect. By supporting girls-led businesses, we contribute to creating a additional equitable and sustainable long term.

Overall, investing in gals entrepreneurs is not only the suitable point to do but also a strategic expense that can generate sizeable returns and foster financial empowerment for girls.